search for something...

search for something you might like...

This looks like a gas station tape from an alternative 1983 Everything about the new Tamar Aphek album is perfect.

This looks like a gas station tape from an alternative 1983

Everything about the new Tamar Aphek album is perfect.

by Alex V. Cook, Music Editor
first published: February, 2021
with that Kim Gordon doldrum croon and devastating guitar chops, she could easily ascend any mountain of bones she comes across...

Tamar Aphek
All Bets Are Off
(Kill Rock Stars) 

Everything about the new Tamar Aphek album is perfect. Let us begin judging this book by its busted cover, taking the anti-aesthetic of young moderns to the next high/low. It looks like a gas station tape from an alternative 1983. She sits abruptly photoshopped in front of a field holding a silver phone receiver to her blank stare. A delve into her website, and there are more shots of this phone. I want to believe that there is a number I can dial and she picks up this exact phone because it is her actual phone and we would then be connected by vibration and electricity. 

Tamar Aphek is apparently at the top of the heap of Israeli underground music, so says her bio matter, but with that Kim Gordon doldrum croon and devastating guitar chops, she could easily ascend any mountain of bones she comes across. “I’ll fight the Russian winter straight into your heart” she offers on the opening track against an excellent clatter. It starts beat-y but coalesces into a thermonuclear cloud of fuzz and whine and a delirious organ that could have been extracted from the nth hour of an Iron Butterfly song. Yes I say yes I will yes! More!

“Show Me Your Pretty Side” snaps to a little - a James Bond theme of the damned. A sax echoes in there around that nailed groove in a way we haven’t experienced since the Morphine ran out. She calls her thing “jazz ‘n’ roll” which doesn’t mean fusion in any sense, so put down that box cutter, okay? What it means is chops, listening, atmosphere which this record delivers in staggering doses. “All I Know” is a melancholia reduction drizzled over a braised leg of regret, served over a bed of tear-soaked calendar pages. I want to live my miserable life in this song. 

Aphek’s voice is alluring, vampish but not what you’d call cute in any sense. Similarly, these songs are expressions of themselves, if that makes sense. “Too Much information” indicated the jazz leanings with expertly bust drumstick action and a melody that careens over hidden chords like a Ferris wheel rolling down a hill. “Crossbow” hits you with the subtlety of one.”Nothing Can Surprise Me” will. There feels to be so little posturing here, even in the scratchy, charming version of  “As Time Goes By” sounds like it could be pouring out of that silver phone of hers. Stop everything and take this call.


Essential Info
online: tamaraphek.com

Alex V. Cook
Music Editor

Alex V. Cook listens to everything and writes about most of it. His latest book, the snappily titled Louisiana Saturday Night: Looking for a Good Time in South Louisiana's Juke Joints, Honky-Tonks, and Dance Halls is an odyssey from the backwoods bars and small-town dives to the swampside dance halls and converted clapboard barns of a Louisiana Saturday Night. Don't leave Heathrow without it. His first book Darkness Racket and Twang is available from SideCartel. The full effect can be had at alex v cook.com
about Alex V. Cook »»

john robinson week in outsideleft logo
with that Kim Gordon doldrum croon and devastating guitar chops, she could easily ascend any mountain of bones she comes across...

OUTSIDELEFT Week in Music

view on youtube

RECENT STORIES

RANDOM READS

All About and Contributors

HELP OUTSIDELEFT

Outsideleft exists on a precarious no budget budget. We are interested in hearing from deep and deeper pocket types willing to underwrite our cultural vulture activity. We're not so interested in plastering your product all over our stories, but something more subtle and dignified for all parties concerned. Contact us and let's talk. [HELP OUTSIDELEFT]

WRITE FOR OUTSIDELEFT

If Outsideleft had arms they would always be wide open and welcoming to new writers and new ideas. If you've got something to say, something a small dank corner of the world needs to know about, a poem to publish, a book review, a short story, if you love music or the arts or anything else, write something about it and send it along. Of course we don't have anything as conformist as a budget here. But we'd love to see what you can do. Write for Outsideleft, do. [SUBMISSIONS FORM HERE]

outsideleft content is not for everyone